The times when you used to see a baby sitting next to you on the plane and all your desires for a peaceful flight crumbled, is probably over. The frequent collision between passengers longing to enjoy a calm flight home and the need for families to travel has brought nothing but endless debate to the industry. And while airlines are seeking the best ways to deal with the issue, it seems like the crying babies have decided to fly private.
Travelling with kids has long been a hot topic for both – parents in need of getting from point A to B and other passengers onboard, trying to catch a moment of peace and quiet. With that in mind, airlines worldwide have tried several different approaches to deal with the issue. For instance, Malaysian Airlines have entirely banned kids under 12 years old from being seated in the first class while, Emirates have decided to provide all kinds of children-oriented onboard entertainment to its business class passengers, including an array of cartoons, interactive games and children’s magazines. However, despite the multiple initiatives to improve the situation, it seems like the advantages of flying private are outclassing what the business class in a commercial airline can offer.
“Though business travel remains the primary market for private jets, during the last 5 years the segment of personal users has increased from 9% to 22%,” comments Vitalij Kapitonov, the CEO of KlasJet. “We have witnessed some families shifting from commercial airlines to private aviation. After all, the latter still remains the most comfortable and suitable environment for children and larger families. Considering the growing demand, all private jet operators should consider extending their services to suit extensive family needs.”
No more crying babies onboard – apparently, now they all fly privateAlthough for quite a while now most private jet companies have provided customized catering and entertainment services, nowadays more and more companies offer such extra perks as organic food and child-sized seats. In fact, there’s an entire luxury travel market focusing specifically on the needs of much younger tourists. Some private jet companies are going as far as new TV channels especially designed for small children or teenagers, or special iPads with additional entertainment options. And this focus on youngsters is far from surprising, as the survey conducted by Preferred Hotel Group has revealed that 77 % of kids these days determine or influence the vacation plans for the entire family.
Flying private eliminates the issue of keeping children satisfied and entertained during endless hours at the airport. The basic hassles of commercial aviation – long waits, checks and delays – are definitely made worse when travelling with kids. But when you are flying on a private jet, you can commonly arrive at the departure airport just 15 minutes before the take-off, get into plane via a private terminal and sometimes even get driven up to the aircraft steps. Moreover, with the US Department of Justice report showing that more than 2000 children are lost in public places like airports every day, flying private eliminates the risk of losing a small child in the rush of people altogether.
However, the safety and convenience merits may not be the ultimate driver for the increasing number of families opting for private flights. For example, for the first time in history the average age of parenthood in the UK has topped 30, rising by four years since the 1970s, states the Office for National Statistics. This means that an increasing number of people choose to get wealthy before planning a family. As a result, today more than 17% of households in the UK aged 25 to 44 possess greater wealth than £500 000. In other words, even though flying private with the entire family can be a costly adventure, statistics show that by the time they are 30 or 40, some families can certainly afford to use private jets and enjoy comfortable and undisturbed trip at least once in a while.
“It can definitely save you a lot of nerve cells. As the commercial air travel is becoming even more vexing with cancellations, delays and continuous worker strikes affecting an increasing number of travellers, families are seeking ways to improve their experience. In addition to the freedom provided by private jets, they also allow families to reach destinations that commercial planes don’t fly to and create a vacation of a lifetime. The VIP aviation is not only about business needs. Families are increasingly becoming part of the industry. Therefore, private carriers should reconsider their packages and tailor their services not only according to business passenger need but to the demands of family travellers as well,” concludes Vitalij Kapitonov, the CEO of KlasJet.